The cannabis industry is expected to contribute roughly $25 billion to the U.S. economy by 2025 — and many experts suggest that forecast may be a little too modest. With that kind of explosive economic future, it is not a surprise to find out that a lot more money will be spent in an attempt to shape federal policy. According to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics, the cannabis industry in the first six months of 2017 spent $450,000 on lobbying efforts in the nation’s capital — a 100 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.
The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks federal campaign contributions and lobbying data, released its findings earlier this month on OpenSecrets.org. According to the report:
The industry that saw the largest percent difference between the first six months of 2016 and the first six months of 2017 was the marijuana industry with a 100 percent increase. The marijuana industry reported more than $450,000 in lobbying money for the first half of this year — its highest amount yet and double what it spent in the same time span for 2016.
A recent supporter of marijuana legalization and growth, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, increased its lobbying in the first half of 2017 by 250 percent compared to the first half of 2016. The company, known for its lawn and garden products, is now capitalizing on marijuana by developing new products to improve cannabis growth.
“Whenever you see industry that didn’t used to be regulated becoming regulated, you are going to see a lot of people wanting to influence those regulations,” Sarah Bryner, the Center for Responsive Politics’ research director, told the Washington Examiner.
As OpenSecrets notes, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, known for its lawn and garden products, is “now capitalizing on marijuana by developing new products to improve cannabis growth.”
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The cannabis expenditure is just a tiny portion of the lobbying going on in the nation’s capital. According to the analysis, overall spending for the first six months of 2017 was $1.66 billion — the highest it has been since the first half of 2012. The Pharmaceuticals & Health Products industry spent the most on lobbying with a whopping $63.8 million. This total is nearly $2.7 million more than what Big Pharma spent last year.